Wolverines use offensive attack to down the Wildcats 42-14
One of the biggest differences between the 2018 and 2017 high school football campaign for the Wolverines is offensive yards. Well, on Friday night the Wolverines offense was on display as the running back duo of Rick Pitrelli and Donavin Chambers combined for 5 offensive touchdowns on the night while racking up almost 300 offensive yards as well in the Wolverines big defeat of the Wildcats 42-14.
Scoring in the first quarter for the Wolverines has been at premium all season long, but on Friday night the Wolverines scored twice before the end of the first quarter, as a pass from QB Ryan Gibbons out into the flat was caught by Rick Pitrelli for the first touchdown on the night while the other score was from the defense - Brady Welsh read the Wildcats QB and picked off a pass, returning it 26 yards for the second score on the night for the Wolverines, making it 14-0 early EC.
The first score by the Wildcats on the evening was a great 40 yard pass from Santino Campoli to Scott Doutt who scampered in for the touchdown to get the Wildcats on the board, now trailing only by 7.
The lone score in the second quarter was by Rick Pitrelli who picked up his second score on the night, this time via the run from 16 yards out. The PAT snap was muffed so the score only read 20-7 at halftime.
The Wolverines out-rushed, out-gained, and blatantly out-played the Shenango Wildcats in the first half. The one bright side for the Wildcats was their passing game which accounted for 104 of 146 first half yards.
The second half was more of the first half - the Pitrelli and Chambers show. RB Pitrelli would add a quick score in quarter three, his third score on the night, this time 2 yards out as the wolverines took a 28-7 lead with a 2 point conversion from Gibbons to Welsh via the pass.
Shenango tried to stop the bleeding a bit in the third quarter, just 2 minutes after the Wolverines scored. This time QB Campoli passed to Xavier Gump 6 yards out, making the score 28-14 with the PAT good from Aiden Johnston.
Headed to the fourth quarter, the score read 28-14 for the Wolverines, but for a team that has been criticized for not finishing games and letting the opponent back into the games, the Wolverines did not let up on the scoreboard this week - two more scores were added in the fourth quarter including the fourth score from Pitrelli from 1 yard out and another running touchdown from Donavin Chambers from 23 yards out. All PAT attempts (4-4) were good on the night from Senior Kicker Colin Smith.
The Wolverines took the final score of 42-14 at the 6:52 mark in quarter 4, so the Wolverines as well as Wildcats were able to sub in their second and third string players for the last few minutes. Both teams were able to move the ball down the field on the evening, but the Wolverines were just that more efficient.
The Wolverines finished with 245 yards rushing while adding 104 yards through the air for a total of 349 yards on the night, well above their average of 216 yards per game. Meanwhile, the Wolverines defense “bend-don’t-break” mentality was in full effect as they gave up 163 yards passing, but only 88 yards rushing for a total of 251 yards against. More importantly, the Wolverines forced three interceptions on the evening as the focus for the Wildcats was to pass all night long.
Player of the game nominations from the booth and probably for the most-dominant all-around game we have seen in several seasons was handed to EC RB Rick Pitrelli, who finished with some crazy statistics on the night listed below:
Rick Pitrelli: 18 carries 103 yards 3 TDs, 3 rec 57 yards 1 TD, 5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INT while also punting, kicking off, all also all returns
With the win, the Wolverines improve to 2-5 (2-3) while the Wildcats fall to 1-6 (0-5) on the season. The Wolverines needed help to stay alive for playoff contention on the night and did receive some as the Lions of New Brighton lost in a heart-breaker 16-14 to Mohawk on the evening (Neshannock was playing a non-conference game on the night), now leaving three teams with 2 wins in conference play fighting for that last spot. The Wolverines will continue to need help as the two other teams are Neshannock and New Brighton, whom the Wolverines have lost to already.
Next up for the Wolverines is the game, the tradition, and the rivalry - the RivEll Cup. Ellwood takes on rival Riverside at Helling Stadium Friday night with a 7 PM kickoff. Check out all of our media sources and our YouTube channel for our live stream, stats, and updates throughout the week!